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Legal Considerations To Look For When Buying A Home

Real estate transactions are expensive. But, they are one of the safest and the best long-term investment plans. Land has been the most important asset from the time of our forefathers. But, if you are somebody who has never entered this game before, then buying a property can be overwhelming for you. Right from finding your desired house to the day you get the keys, there are many legal requirements involved in this area. Investing in a property calls for the savings of your lifetime. Hence it is important to be well versed with all the legal aspects to ensure a smooth transaction.

Attorneys in Knoxville, TN have mentioned below a few important legal aspects that you must consider before investing in a home –

Get your mortgage pre-approved 

Before starting your home hunting, you need to make sure that you are preapproved for a mortgage. This will make it easier for the seller to accept your offer quickly. It also gives them a guarantee that you have the finance sorted to make such an expensive purchase. The preapproval process is quite simple. The lender will ask for your personal information and proof of income and go through your credit report. You should know how much money you are willing to pay as a cash down payment. The lender will then give you a letter stating that you are preapproved for a specific time period and the amount. However, one thing that you must note is that pre-approval does not mean that you have been guaranteed a loan. It just means that you have just qualified for one. In order to fully approve your loan, the lender will need some more documents from your end.

Verify the Title Deed 

As per the real estate planning law, the title deed is one of the most crucial documents that legitimize the ownership of the property. You cannot sell your property unless and until the title deed is clear of any shortcomings or defects. You can look out for the title deed at a Sub Registrar Office and verify the legality of your property. Your title needs to be free of any disputes and you must be certain that the builder owns the property fully. You must also physically check the documents as per the Builder’s or Land Owner’s custody to make sure that the property is pledge-free.

Checking the Encumbrance Certificate 

The property you want to buy should be free of legal dues and disputes. But, what do you mean by an Encumbrance Certificate? It is a document that is issued by the Sub Registrar Office which reflects the encumbrance on the property. To learn more about the legal history of your property, you can get all the information you need from the Sub-registrar office. Upon your request, you can get the certificate which will have all the information related to the legal dues and transactions of the property. You can apply and get it online. This way you can ensure that the property is free from any encumbrances, mortgage, or liabilities.

Mortgage Approval 

Once your offer has been accepted, you must get in touch with your mortgage lender with all the details so that you can get started with the process of mortgage approval. Your lender will ask you for more documents and information than you provided for the preapproval.

This process can get intimidating if it is your first time. Closely work with your mortgage lender and complete and return the necessary paperwork in a timely manner so that you do not hold up on your mortgage loan.

Get the home inspection done 

Generally, every contract for the sale of the house has a provision for getting the home inspection done. The home inspection needs to be completed before the contract is bound. You must make sure that your real estate attorney Knoxville TN has inserted a clause about this in your contract. This will allow you as the buyer to hire a professional home inspector to view and inspect the home from inside out and spot potential problems.

If there are any problems found during the home inspection, your real estate planning attorney can ask the sellers to make the necessary repairs and then take the sale forward. There might be the need to create further negotiations during this time. If the seller is not willing to make the repairs, you can counter it by offering a lower purchase price. When the housing market is extremely hot, the buyers tend to waive the inspection and try to outflank their competitors. This may better position you with the seller but it indeed is a risky strategy. You must tread even more carefully if you are purchasing an old home.

Other Contingencies 

Once you are done with the home inspection and have finalized the contract, now will be the time to meet other contingencies listed in the contract. The biggest one will be the sale of your current home. If you are a homeowner already, you may want to sell your current house to be able to afford another one. So, the contract will mention that your purchase will be contingent on that sale. When you are dealing with a competitive housing market, a contingent offer can be a strike against you because the seller may have other buyers too who wonÔÇÖt have to sell their existing property to afford a new one. The alternative is not that appealing, you have the option of selling your house in advance but in the meantime, you may have to find a place to live in. Hence, you must balance your priorities accordingly.


In the closing procedure, you will receive a deed to the house. That deed is your legal ownership of the house. This deed will have a detailed description of the property along with the property lines. You must consult with your real estate planning lawyer about how you should take ownership if you are married or if you are buying the house with anyone else. They may include joint tenants or joint tenants by the entirety, or joint tenants with the survivorship rights.


Do not think that your purchase will be over after all the paperwork is done. Your purchase will not be complete unless all the documents will be filed by the county. Get in touch with your real estate attorney in Knoxville TN to determine how the paperwork will be filed.

Read more: the benefits of hiring a real estate attorney.

The Bottom line 

We hope that the above-mentioned legal checklist will help you find your dream home in Knoxville. Attorneys in Knoxville, TN will ensure that all the necessary legal documents and clearances are taken care of. They always aim to maintain transparency with their clients in all legal transactions. Get in touch with the best attorneys in Knoxville before you plan to invest in a property here.

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